(WTTW News)

It will be up to the next mayor to decide how to respond to Chicagoans’ growing frustration with these mega-events.

Orland Grassland, a thousand-acre restored prairie. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

“There are places you walk where you see sky touching the earth, and you can imagine this as the gateway to the Grand Prairie,” site steward Pat Hayes said of Orland Grassland.

Rocky the coyote in his enclosure at River Trail Nature Center. (Chicago Alliance for Animals)

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, animal rights advocates are asking the Cook County Forest Preserve District to have a heart and release “Rocky” the coyote.

(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region)

A GPS collar allowed researchers to track the wolf from Michigan all the way to Manitoba, Canada. That's just one of the wild stories we followed this week.

(WTTW News)

Nearly 70% of voters approved an additional .025% increase in property taxes, which would bring in $40 million dollars in new revenue annually to the preserves.

Pond at Sand Ridge Nature Center, a Cook County Forest Preserve in the Calumet region. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

A proposed tax increase to benefit the Forest Preserve District of Cook County met with little opposition. Will voters respond with support at the ballot box?

Cousins Alfie Pritzl, left, and Teresa Pritzl chop down invasive buckthorn during a volunteer stewardship day at LaBagh Woods, Oct. 23, 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

More than 50 fencing cages erected to protect plantings of native shrubs have been systematically destroyed, leaving the plants vulnerable to grazing by deer. Within days, tender seedlines were eaten to nubs.

Spring Lake Forest Preserve, Cook County. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

It's rare when newspaper editorial boards and fiscal watchdog groups recommend that residents vote to increase their property taxes. But that's exactly the case as Cook County voters face a binding question on their election ballot: Do you want to pay a little more to help fund the Cook County Forest Preserves?

Actor Nick Offerman has thrown his support behind a forest preserve tax levy. (YouTube)

His alter ego, Ron Swanson, may have been an anti-government government employee, but in real life, actor Nick Offerman has thrown his support behind a referendum that would increase the property tax levy for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Birds are on the move across the U.S. during fall migration. (Dariusz Grosa / Pexels)

Like any good host, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County has done its best to make sure the guests feel welcome.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps crew clearing buckthorn at Sand Ridge Nature Center, August 2022. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

While federal legislation to create a modern-day Civilian Conservation Corps inches its way through Congress, the Cook County Forest Preserve is moving full steam ahead with programs that deploy crews of youth and adults to tackle restoration and maintenance projects across the district’s acreage.

Swamp rose mallow at Sand Ridge Nature Center, a Cook County forest preserve. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The native swamp rose mallow has hit full bloom, its super-sized six-inch blossoms bursting forth in seemingly every shade of pink from the palest blush to saturated fuschia

A coyote. (skeeze / Pixabay)

Complaints from animal rights advocates regarding the coyote, dubbed “Rocky,” prompted the forest preserve to review its ambassador animal program. A report was released Tuesday, outlining changes to the program, including a bigger enclosure for the coyote.

A baby Blanding’s turtle, raised at Shedd Aquarium its first year, awaiting release into the wild, where the state-endangered species' population has been in steep decline. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Nearly a dozen baby Blanding’s turtles — a state-listed endangered species — were recently released into the swampy waters of a Cook County forest preserve wetland.

(Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

The Forest Preserves of Cook County will take over Daley Plaza Tuesday to spread the word about all the county's 70,000 natural acres have to offer.

Great egrets and double-crested cormorants at the rookery in the middle of Baker's Lake. (Forest Preserve District of Cook County / Facebook)

The deaths occurred at the Baker’ s Lake forest preserve, the Forest Preserves of Cook County said in a statement on Thursday.